Columbia College Chicago Receives Grant to Expand Compost Program
October 30, 2012
Columbia College College was awarded a grant in spring 2012 by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for implementing a cohesive compost program on its South Loop campus. This opportunity is aiming to divert an additional 13 tons of compost from landfills in this next year.
Columbia's current food scrap collection evolved from a pilot program at campus cafes, events, and a few locations. The Columbia Library has been a partner since inception of the program, and the expansion includes faculty, staff, and student spaces. The following are a part of the expanded program:
- ASTM-certified compostable bags will be used as bin liners.
- For cleaning, earth-friendly cleaning supplies were donated to Columbia by PortionPac, a locally company that manufactures products that minimize the adverse effects of chemicals on the environment and eliminate the unsafe and ineffective habits of traditional cleaning procedures.
- Signage has been produced to be distributed with new bins, and online promotional outlets on campus will be utilized to alert the campus of this initiative.
- Food scrap waste is picked up by a local hauler and processed, where they are then added back to the soil to beautify landscapes—including those at Columbia—and grow food.
The college’s continued commitment to sustainability is highlighted in its Sustainability Roadmap
. By further expanding compost efforts, the college has the opportunity to educate its community about this new reduction process that will help them lower their carbon footprint.